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It is important to have a well-trained puppy. Not only does it make you look good in your friends’ and neighbors’ eyes, but it also means fewer accidents for you to clean up. Also, a well-trained puppy means a well-trained grown-up dog.
Being that you came to petMD, you must be motivated. Here are five important tips to make your puppy's training easier for you and hopefully more successful.
1. Be Patient
If you’re calm, your puppy will be less excitable. And please, no yelling -- your puppy is just a baby. Remember, you are teaching your pup how to do things correctly because it does not know any better, the poor thing.
2. Treat Theory
We’re talking bribery here, plain and simple. When your puppy does something good, reward the behavior immediately with lots of praise and a delicious, healthy treat. If it makes you feel better, you can call the bribery "positive reinforcement." The point is, your puppy will remember what happens when it does something good, and will continue doing it.
3. Secret Ignoring Business
Puppies believe the entire universe revolves around them, and one of the best things in life is all the attention they get (and treats, of course). If your puppy does something naughty, do not yell or reprimand; good or bad, it is still attention. Simply move away and ignore it. This method is very effective and is used to show the pup what you consider to be unacceptable behavior.
4. Replacement Therapy
A puppy does not know what it can and can not do until it is told. Instead of punishing your pup when it chews on a shoe, say "no" in a firm voice, and then take the item away, replacing it with one of the puppy’s allowable chew toys. Immediately praise it for chewing on the "good" toy. Soon, your puppy will be conditioned to the rules of the house.
5. Be Consistent
This says it all. Make sure you are consistent with everything you do so your puppy does not get confused. Dog therapy and anti-anxiety meds for an erratic puppy can be expensive down the road, so better to get the steps right the first time.
Image: Paul David / via Flickr